Friday, November 28, 2008

Movie: AUSTRALIA (2008) *****

This morning after doing some early "Black Friday" shopping my wife and I went to Tinseltown here in Medford to see this movie.

The movie takes place in northern Australia prior to World War II, an English aristocrat(Nicole Kidman) inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man (Hugh Jackman) to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier

Take "Red River" "Out of Africa" and "Pear Harbor" and mix them together and you have Australia. It's an old fashioned epic movie in the mold of "Gone With the Wind" It blends four movie genera that I like: (1) The Western; (2) The World War II War Movie (3)The British Colonial Movie; and, (4) an old fashion love story. When the cattle drive stats I almost expect Kidman to tell Jackman "Take em to Darwin drover"(John Wayne to Montgomery Cliff in "Red River"..... "Take em to Missouri Matt")The cinematography is great and makes you want to visit Australia. I love the scene where Kidman tells an Aborigine kid about the movie "The Wizard of Oz" and the scene were the kid actually sees the movie at an outdoor theater in Darwin. The Japanese bombing of Darwin is well done and based upon my research fairly accurate.The acting, costumes and settings are all very well done. I loved the movie and will get it when it comes out on Blu Ray. This is not to say the movie is perfect. The first 15 minutes of the movie are cartoonish and made me not like it. The movie deals with Aborigine mysticism that takes a while to get used to but is part of Australian heritage. This is a movie made by people who love Australia and is shows.